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Iridium Sees Drop in Equipment Revenue but Rise in Subscriber Growth in Q1 2024

By Abbey Weltman | April 18, 2024

      Photo: Iridium

      Iridium saw its fiscal first quarter 2024 (Q1 2024) revenue total decrease 1% year-over-year, largely due to lower equipment revenue.

      Iridium reported its Q1 2024 results on April 18, reporting total revenue of $203.9 million. This consisted of $148.6 million of service revenue and $55.3 million of revenue in equipment sales and engineering and support projects. 

      Equipment revenue was $24.9 million in the first quarter, down 40% compared to $41.7 million in the prior-year quarter. In 2024, Iridium expects equipment sales to be lower than in 2023.

      While equipment revenue declined, service revenue from Iridium’s subscriber base grew 7% from the year-ago period. Service revenue of $148.6 million was 73% of total revenue for the first quarter of 2024. 

      Net income was $19.7 million for the first quarter of 2024. This is compared to net income of $9.8 million for the first quarter of 2023.

      Iridium ended the quarter with 2,333,000 total billable subscribers, which compares to 2,051,000 for the year-ago period and is up from 2,279,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2023. Total billable subscribers grew 14% year-over-year, led by growth in commercial IoT.

      Iridium completed its acquisition of Satelles and integrated the company’s Satellite Time and Location (STL) service this month. This acquisition was not included in Q1 2024 results. Iridium announced the completion of the company’s first-ever acquisition on April 2. 

      Commenting on Iridium’s recent acquisition, CEO of Iridium Matt Desch said, “With the prevalence of GPS jamming and location spoofing on the rise, our new Satellite Time and Location service will allow us to protect critical infrastructure and expand resilient time-synchronization for enterprises and governments around the world.”

      Operational EBITDA for the first quarter was $115 million, as compared to $111.9 million for the prior-year period, representing a year-over-year increase of 3%. The company said net income benefitted from a year-over-year decrease in depreciation expense associated with the extension of the estimated lives of the company’s satellites and growth in total commercial services revenue.

      For Iridium’s 2024 outlook, the company projects total service revenue growth between 4% and 6% for the full-year 2024. The company anticipates a full-year 2024 EBITDA between $460 million and $470 million.